The PlayStation Vita is a hot topic of conversation, and everyone is talking about everything ranging from firmware updates to battery life to launch titles and everything in between.
But we shouldn't miss one important possibility: backwards compatibility. In recent weeks, we've heard Sony talk about downloadable PSP titles working on the Vita, and they're also trying to implement a program so physical UMD software will function on the new portable.
According to a recent Game Informer interview with Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, almost full backwards compatibility for the Vita might not be out of the question. For downloadable PSP games:
"Downloadable PSP games will play on the Vita. We are going through the process of testing that, so we can’t say there will be 100 percent compatibility, but we are looking at a very high compatibility percentage for downloadable versions of PSP games on PS Vita."
And for the UMDs:
"We just announced that we are working on something like that for the Japanese market. We are still working on the details of the program, so we will inform the details of the plan for the Japanese market. But we haven’t decided if we’re going to do something similar outside Japan."
If they do, everyone could approach the Vita in the store and go, "you know, this thing will play most of the titles in my PSP library." As time goes on, this becomes less of a system-seller (as Sony said about b/c with the PlayStation 3) but early in a new machine's lifespan, it's absolutely crucial for generating interest in a new and expensive device. The big question has often been: "If I replace what I have now, will I still be able to play many of the games I own?"